Tony Abbott Title

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"Abbott as Napoleon" - cartoon by Michael Leunig

I started this catalogue of the actions of Tony Abbott on the 15/9/2015, the day after the night of the long knives, where Malcolm Turnbull finally exacted his revenge on his usurper. It took another month to actually finish the poem, partly because I was busy with other things but also because there was SO DAMN MUCH to write about!!! I have seen a lot of PMs come and go in my life, but no one who DID so much in their time, (except perhaps Whitlam). And all in less than 2 years! A damn shame that all those acts were pernicious! In fact one could see Tony as the mirror image of Gough: One, tall, elegant, articulate, highly intelligent, highly cultured, a visionary, achiever of great things for the people. The other, average height at best, a brawler, muddled, moronic, vulgar, narrow minded, achiever of more cash for the very rich.

In researching this poem it became clear to me that his career was defined and determined by three main things:

  1. He was a climate change denier and out-and-out rape-the-earth man. It was in this area that the greatest number of his actions took place. People seem to concentrate on other areas of his Prime Ministership but the record shows that this was his most active. I don't know why such an outdoors man should hate mother Earth so much, but the miners, and in particular Clive Palmer, certainly made the most of it.

  2. He was a dyed-in-the-wool, hard-line Catholic who toed the Church line on all things. His Jesuit upbringing gave him a responsibility for selfless action. Unfortunately, it also gave him a twisted view of the world.

  3. He was an experienced boxer and had absorbed that mind-set. When faced with an opponent you punch them until you knock them down. You do everything within the rules to beat them to a pulp. You take it and you dish it out. No doubt he could do both. I guess it never occurred to him that the Federal Parliament of Australia was not the proper venue for such activity.

In my assessment Tony Abbott was a fool: He constantly put his foot in his mouth, more so that any other Australian political leader in memory. His actions were arrogant, senseless and vandalistic. His chosen ministers were in many cases equally stupid, arrogant and destructive. I'm talking about Joe Hockey, Josh Frydenberg, George Brandis, Christopher Pyne, Peter Dutton, Bronwyn Bishop and Eric Abetz. Was he as dumb as GW Bush? Well that's a big call! but maybe... maybe...

Anthony Abbott, the drongo and brute,
Was born in far London, so small and so cute,
The son of a dentist and Geordie1 to boot,
Emigrating when he was just two.

As a boy he went to a Catholic school2,
"Give me a child til seven"3, the rule.
For the rest of his life: a Jesuit tool,
His mind full of wrong-headed crap.

He took degrees in economics and law
From Sydney Uni and then, what's more:
They sent him to Oxford: a Rhodes Scholar bore,
Where he took another in Arts4.

Now it takes you three years for just one degree,
With three you would think he'd be smart as can be.
But tell me good people: How can this be,
When his brain is the size of an acorn?

At Uni the lefties beat him for his views5,
So he boxed while at Oxford, and won him two Blues,
He could take a few blows and hand out a bruise:
The pugilist mindset for life.

Back home he entered the seminary scrum6,
"A man for others"7, was what he'd become,
But the life of a priest just made him feel numb,
And within 3 years he had quit8.

He worked as a journo9 and then had a crack
As press sec for Hewson and helped with "Fightback!".
Howard liked him for his monarchist track10,
And gave him Warringah11 so easy.

He was given Employment in late ninety eight12,
With Howard his friend his prospects were great,
"Work for the dole" was his to dictate,
And he voted against a republic13.

He moved on to Health in two thousand and three,
Where abortion drugs he refused to agree14,
But the parliament cut him off at the knee,
Though he'd toed the line as a Catholic15.

He was leader of Libs in two thousand and nine,
After Turnbull put his job on the line16,
His mates were against taxing carbon, the swine,
And Abbott won by a vote17.

In opposition he then went to town,
First Rudd, then Gillard, he crudely howled down,
Some thought him a bully and others a clown,
But Libs were soon up in the polls.

Two thousand and ten, the election's a draw18,
To govern, just knock on the crossbenchers door19.
But to deal with these men, just stuck in his craw,
It was all or nothing for Tony20.

The resentful Abbott was an arsehole indeed21,
A mandate for Gillard he wouldn't concede,
And opposed her sans merci22 whatever the need,
And won her misogynist tag23.

He finally won in two thousand thirteen24,
The nastiest leader that ever had been.
He took politics down to depths never seen25.
I couldn't believe voters bought it.

He won on three slogans as you may recall:
We'll stop the boats. No worries at all.
No mining taxes, the rich they appal,
And "Repeal the Carbon Tax!"

Now this is Australia, a first world country,
We're well educated, I think we'd agree.
But how he got in is a myst'ry to me,
It doesn't say much for the public.

He started, did Tony, as true as his word.
He turned back the boats26, all protests unheard,
Asylum seekers offshore were interred27,
And atrocities simply ignored28.

Properly reporting the issue was banned29,
Resettling in third world nations was planned30,
But Manus Island soon got out of hand,31
And the same can be said of Nauru.32

If there's one single cause that defines this rough chap,
'Twas his red-neck stance with a coal miner's cap.
He said: "[Climate change] is absolute crap".33
I'm no scientist, but I know it.34

He said: "Coal is good for humanity",35
Palmer's allegiance will not come for free,36
Let's start a huge coal mine in far Galilee,37
And the largest coal port in the world.38

He abolished the Climate Commission and hark,39
Allowed cattle grazing in National Park,40
Abandoned emission reduction benchmark,41
And waved off the Murray and Darling.42

He laughed at the islands that soon would be gone,43
Investment in solar and wind was a con,44
And so many more but we have to move on,45
The guy was a planet'ry vandal.

To the big end of town he sucked without hitch,
Expensive maternal leave for the rich,46
A billion in rebates for Reinhart, the bitch,47
Let China dictate what we do.48

The Coalition then sure knew how to rort:
Brandis and Joyce and Abbott were caught49,
And the Pyne's trip to Europe was surely great sport50,
But Bronwyn Bishop went too far51.

A fast internet was a need that was plain,
And a fibre rollout to the home set in train52,
Til Abbott, the Luddite, cleft it in twain53,
And sent us all to the back.54

As a PM he ruled like spoilt fat brat,
Handing out "Captain's calls" at the drop of a hat.55
His speaker a blatantly partisan rat56,
And Credlin, the enforcer from hell.57

Marriage for homos, he would not allow.58
The ACT forced to disavow.59
A free conscience vote did he disallow,60
Though his own party thought it was fine.

Big Brother did Tony more power assign,
All comms metadata would be stored online61,
Freedom of Info did further decline62,
Let ASIO do what it likes63.

Abbott was a Pom and a monarchist too.
He thought Knights and Dames was the right thing to do64.
Dual citizenship for a pollie was taboo65,
But nobody took him to task.

He cut foreign aid by 8 billion bucks,
Could have shirt-fronted Putin but just said "Aw shucks"66.
Spied on SBY's phones in a scandal deluxe67.
And annulled citizens on a whim68.

He tried on a seven buck GP co-hit69,
Cut hospital funding by more than a bit70,
A six percent private health rise did permit,
But stem cell research he forbade71.

He watched the death of our car industry72,
Allow'd four five seven visas without scrutiny73,
Gave foreign car leasers a huge subsidy74,
And scrapped business enterprise grants75.

He gave sixteen thousand workers the sack76,
Wages and conditions, he tried to wind back77,
Industry Super Funds under attack78,
And cut backs at ASIC as well79.

Remember when Hockey, the arrogant blob,
Told downcast home buyers to "Get a good job"80.
And poor people "don't have cars", said the slob81,
While buying his wife's house with a rort82.

On those who help homeless deep cuts took their toll83.
You'll wait til you're seventy if pension's your goal84.
Tried to force a six month wait for the dole85.
And Green Corps to work for half pay86.

He scrapped a billion in tuition subsidies87,
Tried abolishing caps on university fees88,
Banned secular workers from school chaplaincies89,
And killed off poor Gonski entire90.

Abbott promised Aborigines he take up their cases,
And indeed he spent time in their remote places91,
But abolished their Congress which hurt his good graces92,
And the Referendum preamble a flop93.

To the public broadcasters he made some big cuts94,
He put in his mole95 and cut off their nuts,
The Australia Council he stabbed in the guts96,
And the Australia Network was scrapped97.

As "Minister for Women"98 Abbott did shine,
He winked when a sex worker came on the line99,
Only one woman in cabinet was fine100,
And wanted back "At fault" divorce101.

He sacked twenty percent of the CSIRO102,
His promise for freedom of speech he let go103,
To pokie reform he dealt a great blow104,
Let burqas in parliament house105.

After all of this Tony had lost his appeal.
Most of the country saw him as a heel106.
And lazy Bill Shorten viewed him as ideal.
"Just sit back guys and we'll win!"

Meanwhile Malcolm Turnbull was waiting his chance,
Counting the numbers, whetting his lance,
And when it was time he took up his stance,
And challenged the boss to a vote107.

He said Abbott knew nothing of the Economic art108,
And the Libs need a leader they think of as smart109.
The only way forward is to make a fresh start,
On September fourteen it was done110.

In less than two years Tony lost to revolt.
The shortest term PM since Harold Holt.
Notwithstanding the friendship of young Andrew Bolt,
He was beaten and out of the game.

So here was an pollie who knew how to fight.
He was stupid and wrong but he followed his light.
He stood up and acted for what he thought right,
But sadly for Tony, it wasn't.

And this is his record on which he must stand,
There's NOTHING there that would help our great land,
Except FTA, til it gets out of hand,
But that would have come anyway.

And so we come to the end of the thread.
"The WORST Prime Minister ever!" I said.
He had a good heart but was fucked in the head.
May the suppository of all wisdom111 insert.

Warren Mars - October 2015

Thanks to Sally McManus for maintaining a complete list of Abbott's activities from which much of this was drawn. Also thanks to the Sydney Morning Herald, the Guardian and the ABC for keeping their past news articles available for the general public and Wikipedia for it's great array of generally authoritative articles.

  1. Dick Abbott, who established what was to become one of the largest orthodontics practices in Australia.
  2. Abbott attended primary school at St Aloysius' College at Milson's Point, before completing his secondary school education at St Ignatius' College, Riverview, both Jesuit schools.
  3. From the Jesuit motto "Give me a child until he is seven and I will give you the man", which is based on a quotation by either Ignatius of Loyola or Francis Xavier.
  4. Majoring in Philosophy, Politics and Economics.
  5. Abbott organised rallies in support of Governor-General John Kerr after he dismissed the Whitlam Government. Once he was violently beaten at a university conference.
  6. In 1984, aged 26, he entered St Patrick's Seminary, Manly.
  7. Tony Abbott said: "The Jesuits had helped to instil in me this thought that our calling in life was to be, to use the phrase: 'a man for others'. And I thought then that the best way in which I could be a 'man for others' was to become a priest."
  8. "I discovered pretty soon that I was a bit of a square peg in a round hole ... eventually working out that, I'm afraid, I just didn't have what it took to be an effective priest."
  9. originally with The Bulletin, an influential news magazine, and later for The Australian newspaper.
  10. Between 1993 and 1994, Abbott served as Executive Director of Australians For A Constitutional Monarchy.
  11. A very safe Liberal seat in the Northern Beaches of Sydney.
  12. In the John Howard's Ministries he was first named Minister for Employment Services in 1998, which was a junior role, then in 2001 he was named Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, a senior role where he succeeded Peter Reith.
  13. The Liberal Party allowed members a free choice in the 1999 republic referendum. Abbott was one of the leading voices within the party campaigning for the successful "No" vote, pitting him against future parliamentary colleague and leading Republican Malcolm Turnbull.
  14. In 2006, Abbott controversially opposed access to the abortion drug RU486, (mifepristone), but the Parliament voted to strip Health Ministers of the power to regulate this area of policy.
  15. Catholics believe that a fetus has a soul from the moment of conception, therefore any abortion, even within the first week, is murder.
  16. Abbott proposed blocking the Labour Government's ETS in the Senate whereas Turnbull sought to amend the bill which the majority of the Liberal Party did not support.
  17. On 1 December 2009, Abbott was elected to the position of Leader of the Liberal Party of Australia over Turnbull and Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey. While Hockey had been expected to win, he was knocked out in the first round of voting. Abbott subsequently defeated Turnbull in the second round, 42–41.
  18. Labour and the Coalition each won 72 seats in the 150-seat House of Representatives, four short of the requirement for majority government, resulting in the first hung parliament since the 1940 election.
  19. Six crossbenchers held the balance of power: Greens MP Adam Bandt and independent MPs Andrew Wilkie, Rob Oakeshott and Tony Windsor declared their support for Labour on confidence and supply. Independent MP Bob Katter and National Party of Western Australia MP Tony Crook declared their support for the Coalition on confidence and supply.
  20. He effectively spat the dummy, making no effort to woo the crossbenches, allowing Labour to do that and take the power.
  21. He was relentless as a pit bull, constantly uttering the same 3 moronic word slogans FOR THREE YEARS! Regardless of what area of responsibility the Gillard Government was working on, out would come: "Stop the boats!" or "Ditch the tax!". It was narrow minded, boring and they NEVER RELEASED A POLICY OF THEIR OWN! This was the same small-target strategy that John Howard had employed so successfully in opposition and Abbott was a good student.
  22. French: "without mercy". The reference is from John Keats' famous ballad: La Belle Dame sans Merci. (The beautiful woman without mercy).
  23. Julia Gillard's speech 10/10/2012 in the House of Representatives: "I will not be lectured about sexism and misogyny by this man, (pointing at Tony Abbott), I will not. And the Government will not be lectured about sexism and misogyny by this man. Not now, not ever. The Leader of the Opposition says that people who hold sexist views and who are misogynists are not appropriate for high office. Well, I hope the Leader of the Opposition has got a piece of paper and he is writing out his resignation. Because if he wants to know what misogyny looks like in modern Australia he doesn't need a motion in the House of Representatives, he needs a mirror, that's what he needs."
  24. On 7 September 2013 the Liberal/National Party coalition under Tony Abbott smashed the ALP under Kevin Rudd winning 90 seats to 55 in the House of Representatives. The Palmer United Party held the balance of power in the Senate.
  25. March 23, 2011 On the front lawns of Parliament House, a crowd of 3000 vitriolic anti-carbon tax protesters had gathered, waving placards and signs with offensive slogans such as "ditch the witch" and "Ju-liar... Bob Browns [sic] bitch". And rather than giving the angry crowd a wide berth, Tony Abbott, Warren Truss, Bronwyn Bishop, Sophie Mirabella and other members of the then-opposition front bench addressed the crowd. Abbott describing them as "fine Australians".
  26. Scott Morrison headed up "Operation Sovereign Borders": Effective but brutal. Boats of asylum seekers were intercepted and either sent back to Indonesia or off to processing in other countries. Abbott's government claimed a 90 per cent reduction in illegal maritime arrivals.
  27. Asylum seekers were sent to offshore processing centres in Nauru and Papua New Guinea, where they were not under the jurisdiction of the Australian legal system.
  28. There were numerous accounts of atrocities, apart from the internment of innocents for years, these include: July 12, 2014, 153 asylum seekers detained at sea on board a customs ship for a month. 17 February 2014, Reverses the previous government’s decision to care for refugee children who are without an adult family member (ie unaccompanied minors) in the community and sends them to detention centres in Nauru. 22 January 2014, the ABC broadcast allegations that Royal Australian Navy personnel had mistreated asylum seekers during an OSB operation, including video footage of passengers receiving medical treatment in Indonesia for burns on their hands, which they claimed were sustained when they were forced to touch a hot boat engine. Minister Morrison downplayed refugee claims of being abused by the navy, saying that they had "strong motivations to fabricate stories"
  29. Early in the Abbott government's term Scott Morrison announced that contrary to existing practice they would no longer release information on asylum seeker boat arrivals as they occur. They would hold a weekly media briefing instead. In January 2014, having not held a media briefing for almost a month, Minister Morrison announced that, rather than holding weekly briefings, briefings will now be held on what he described as "an as needs basis". Thus the public were effectively kept in the dark about boat and refugee numbers.
    23 March 2014 - Ensured a human rights enquiry into the Manus Island detention centre was shut down and human rights lawyers were denied access to the centre.
    In June 2015, the government passed a new law which made it a crime for an "entrusted person" to disclose information about detention centres such as Nauru or Manus Island. Such a person could be a doctor or a nurse who could be imprisoned for speaking out.
  30. Most notably in Cambodia with whom Australia signed a $55 million deal to resettle refugees. But this turned into an expensive joke on the Abbott Government when Cambodia accepted only 4.
  31. On 17 February 2014, a series of protests by detainees at the Manus Island Regional Processing Centre escalated into a riot, clashing with PNG guards, and subsequent events resulted in the death of two detainees. At least 69 people were treated for injuries after the riots.
  32. On 19 July 2013 inmates at the Nauru detention centre armed themselves with knives and bars and rioted, trashing most of the facility and burning the buildings. Nauruan locals also armed themselves and arrived to help police contain the rioters. People were injured and $60 million worth of damage done. This happened under Kevin Rudd's watch, not Abbott's but he kept the centre open during his term and there were reports of further atrocities there such as: that three women had been raped and numerous other assaults have taken place against asylum seekers.
  33. Quoted by Craig Wilson, editor of the Pyrenees Advocate, at a Liberal Party function in Beaufort, Victoria on 30 September 2009.
  34. As far as I know Abbott did NOT say this, but he might as well have. It's how I imagine his thinking.
  35. He said: "Coal is good for humanity, coal is good for prosperity, coal is an essential part of our economic future, here in Australia, and right around the world." while opening the BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) Caval Ridge coal mine, in central Queensland. He also said "The future for coal is bright and it is the responsibility for government to try to ensure that we are there making it easier for everyone wanting to have a go."
  36. Clive Palmer’s $6.4 billion coal and rail project in Queensland’s Galilee Basin was approved by the federal government in January 2014. Greens senator Larissa Waters said the decision "stinks to high heaven", "One wonders whether Tony Abbott is doing Clive Palmer a favour now, because he is going to want some favours later on in the Senate."
  37. Waratah Coal's (Clive Palmer owned) "China First" project.
  38. 10 December 2013 - Plans were approved to greatly expand Abbot Point in Queensland, which would make it the largest coal port in the world. Abbot Point is in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area and visible from Bowen.
  39. The Climate Commission was an independent body established in 2011 by the Gillard Government to communicate "reliable and authoritative information" about climate change in Australia. Its chief commissioner was Professor Tim Flannery. It was axed by the Abbott Government on 19 September 2013 as soon as they took power and indicates just how much Abbott hated climate change science.
  40. 6 March 2014, Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt approved a Victorian Government trial to have 60 to 300 cows in the Victorian Alpine National Park. This overturned a ban on cattle grazing there instituted by the Gillard government.
  41. 12 November, 2013, Tony Abbott confirmed that his government was abandoning its election commitment to reduce pollution by 5%–25%. He said: "Australia will meet our 5% emissions reduction target, but this government has made no commitments to go further than that." A recent report by the Climate Change Authority found that the conditions for a target higher than 5% had already been met, and when compared with the actions of other countries, 5% no longer represented a "credible option".
  42. 11 December 2013, The Federal Government scrapped a 'critically endangered' listing for the Murray-Darling Basin, controversially introduced by Labour just before the election. They said that "it was an unnecessary extra layer of green tape."
  43. 10 September 2015, Peter Dutton was caught on camera joking with Tony Abbott and Scott Morrison. Abbott had just returned from a conference in PNG with Pacific Island Leaders. Dutton said: "time doesn't mean anything when you're about to have water lapping at your door". Not only does this indicate that the Libs knew climate change was real and that these island would disappear but that they didn't care. This understandably caused offence in Pacific Island nations and Dutton was forced to apologise.
  44. 12 July 2015 - Banned the Clean Energy Finance Corporation from investing in roof top solar panels and other small scale solar energy and directed the Clean Energy Finance Corporation to stop investing in wind power.
  45. Other environmental vandalism acts include:
    21 December 2014, Appointed a climate skeptic who praised Rupert Murdoch as the “starting point for green innovation” to the position of parliamentary secretary to the minister of the environment.
    16 April 2015, Gave $4 million to an academic who’s views align with the Prime Minister’s on climate change.
    13 May, 2014, Scrapped the National Water Commission. Slashed the Biodiversity Fund. Terminated the Office of Water Science research programme and broke election promise by slashing funding to Landcare.
  46. Tony Abbott's signature "Paid Parental Leave Scheme" would have provided six months of full replacement salary for new mothers up to a threshold of $150,000 a year income, arguably transferring, (at a total cost of $5.5 billion a year), largesse to those families who least need a helping hand.
  47. Rebates from the Hockey budget of 2014 allow Gina Reinhart, a woman worth $20 billion, to pay no tax for all the fuel her mining uses. Contrast this with what she had to say about those on welfare where she claimed that "there is no “bottomless pit” of revenue to be spent on overly generous welfare schemes".
  48. 16 June 2015, Abbott signed a free trade agreement with China which allows companies who have a 15% Chinese investor to import 100% overseas workers, undermine Australians safety and environmental standards and allows companies to sue the Australian government.
  49. Travel allowance rorts: George Brandis and Barnaby Joyce attended Michael Smith's wedding. Abbott attended Sophie Mirabella and Peter Slippers weddings. Clearly these were not business trips.
  50. Education Minister Christopher Pyne and his wife had a taxpayer-funded $30,000 trip to London and Rome in April 2014. The trip included taxpayers being billed $1352 for Mr Pyne to "day let" a room at a swish London hotel before he and his wife, Carolyn, flew back to Australia later that day, and more than $2000 for VIP services at Heathrow Airport. He justified this as business because he attended Anzac Day events in London on April 25 and went to Rome the next day to attend the canonisation of Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII. He also gave a speech at London's Policy Exchange and met two senior British government ministers during the day of April 28. Hardly critical Australian Government business any of it, I wouldn't think. And his was wife was not needed for any of it.
  51. November 2014, The Speaker of the House, Bronwyn Bishop, chartered a $5227 helicopter flight to a Liberal Party fundraiser at Clifton Springs Golf Club, rather than using her Commonwealth car. Further, it was revealed that she had charged to the tax payer a $88,000 two-week trip to Europe in October 2014 while she was running for the presidency of the Geneva-based Inter-Parliamentary Union. This was too much even for Abbott and eventually she was forced to retire.
  52. By Kevin Rudd and then Julia Gillard. The NBN.
  53. Obsessed by saving money and blind to the modern world, Abbott mandated that it would only be fibre to the node and the aged copper from there. It's still not going to come to me before late 2016 at the earliest, so his pre election promises that it would roll out faster were drivel as usual.
  54. The back of the internet world, where in 2015 we were 30th on the list, well behind Ireland, Latvia and Romania and far, far behind South Korea, Hong Kong and Japan.
  55. Abbott's decisions purely off his own bat were not well received even within his own party. Examples include: Knighting Prince Phillip, Barring ministers from ABC's Q&A, the Paid Parental Leave Scheme, choosing Bronwyn Bishop as Speaker.
  56. Bronwyn Bishop. In less than 2 years she ejected more than 400 MPs from the chamber. Easily an all time record! Of these 393 were Labour members. Clearly the most partisan and incompetent Speaker in the history of the Australian Parliament.
  57. Peta Credlin was Tony Abbott's Chief Of Staff and by most accounts a horrible controlling bully. One former Abbott government ministerial adviser said that: "Credlin's major failing was "an obsessive insistence on micro-management". Then, as a result of that pressure, "the PMO would make decisions on-the-fly that were mind-bogglingly stupid; a case in point that imbecilic plan announced in August to deploy Border Force officers on the streets of Melbourne.""
    Janet Albrechtsen said: "She deliberately made her presence felt in private meetings and public events. It was awkward and embarrassing to watch. Oblivious to how she continually encroached on the authority of the Prime Minister, Credlin undermined Abbott’s position and, eventually, her own." also "The Minister laid out the process which was all pretty conventional, until the final and non-negotiable one - Peta Credlin's approval. I said, "Do you mean Tony's?" No, Peta's. The Minister said Peta Credlin had the final say. I was dumbfounded. The Minister was embarrassed and sheepish. I remember saying "So you can't choose your own staff, she has to approve it?' The answer was yes."
  58. Abbott said: "I think that marriage is, dare I say it, between a man and a woman, hopefully for life." This was at a time when many countries around the world had legalised homosexual marriage and a majority of Australians were in favour of the idea. Not only that but Tony's sister was a Lesbian that wanted to marry her partner.
  59. 23 October 2013, Tony launched a successful High Court challenge which struck down the ACT Marriage Equality laws, invalidating the marriages of many people. Note that this was done just 1 month after winning power.
  60. August 2015, Liberal MP Warren Entsch intended to introduce his own homosexual marriage bill, which had the support of the ALP and many of the Liberal MPs, and would have passed if the Coalition had allowed a free vote for its members. Abbott knew this and pulled a swift trick to ensure that there would be no conscience vote. He surprised people by scheduling debate on the matter for the Coalition party room instead of just the Liberal party room. The extra conservatives squashed any hope of a free vote.
  61. March 26, 2015, Abbott's Metadata Retention Law passed through Parliament. This mandated that the identity of a subscriber and the source, destination, date, time, duration and type of communication must be stored for 2 years for authorised people to study as they see fit. Ostensibly this was to assist the Federal Police with catching terrorists but in fact can be used for a great host of matters by various legal bodies. Big Brother now knows where you are all the time, who you are communicating with and how. #policestate
  62. In May 2014, the Abbott government put forward a bill to abolish the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner, who, among other responsibilities would independently review Freedom Of Information applications that had been refused by the agency to which they had been made. This bill was refused by the Senate and the Office remained, but the Government refused to fund it and refused the Commissioner a place to work. The Information Commissioner, Professor John McMillan, remained at his post (at his home) without funds, without which the office is powerless to do its duty. Farcical and disturbing!
  63. 30 September, 2014 The Abbott government's first national security bill passed the Parliament with the support of the ALP, limiting scrutiny of ASIO, expanding protections from prosecution for ASIO officers, and allowing ASIO greater powers for surveillance with reduced requirements for warrants. The bill creates a new offence of unauthorised disclosure of information relating to a special intelligence operation, punishable by a five-year jail term. There is no limitation on whom this provision can be used against, with media organisations and lawyers raising serious concerns about the potential for a journalists to be jailed and a “chilling effect” on reporting about intelligence matters.
  64. On 25 March 2014 Tony Abbott reintroduced the Australian honour of Knights and Dames that was created by Malcolm Fraser in 1975 and abolished by Bob Hawke in 1986. This was an unpopular "Captain's Call". The first people he bestowed this honour upon were the current and previous Governor Generals. More farce!
  65. Section 44 of the Australian Constitution states that: Any person who ... is a subject or a citizen of a foreign power ... shall be incapable of being chosen or of sitting as a senator or a member of the House of Representatives.
    In the matter of Sue v Hill, the High Court of Australia found that the United Kingdom qualified as a "foreign power" under section 44(i), and as a British citizen Hill was therefore unable to take up her Senate seat.
    Tony Abbott was thus disqualified to be an MP or PM unless he had renounced his British citizenship. His office denied that he was a dual citizen but he has never produced the proof. There are numerous examples of Australian MPs born in other countries who possibly have dual citizenship. Julia Gillard was an example. Could it be that there is a "don't ask - don't tell" policy going on here?
  66. On 13 October 2014, Tony Abbott vowed to "shirtfront" Vladimir Putin at the G20 meeting in Brisbane, over the shooting down of civilian passenger plane MH17 on 17 July 2014 over eastern Ukraine. 298 people were killed including 38 Australians.
    A "shirtfront" is a term from Australian Rules Football, meaning to run through someone face on. This comment attracted much attention around the world, forcing the Russian navy to deploy just outside Australian waters during the G20 meeting and forcing the Macquarie Dictionary to add to its entry on the word. People were excited about the prospect of violence at the G20 meeting but there was no physical confrontation between the pair, although Abbott said there had been a frank exchange of views over the MH17 tragedy.
  67. November 2014, material leaked by NSA whistle blower Edward Snowden revealed that Australian intelligence tried to listen in to Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's mobile phone and tracked activity on his mobile phone for 15 days in August 2009. They also attempted to listen in on the Indonesian First Lady and other ministers. Abbott tried to downplay the scandal without admitting any guilt. SBY was not impressed with the lack of remorse and recalled its ambassador. Note that the surveillance did not take place on Abbott's watch, but the way he handed the affair was clumsy and arrogant.
  68. In June 2015, the Abbott government introduced the Australian Citizenship Amendment (Allegiance to Australia) Bill 2015 which provides the Immigration Minister with the power to strip someone's Australian citizenship if they are a dual national and deport them forthwith. This was intended as a means for getting rid of terrorists, but the conditions under which it may apply are very broad. For example you could lose it for destruction of government property, possessing terrorist propaganda, urging violence against Muslims etc.
  69. 13 May 2014, In Hockey's famously unpopular budget there was a clause requiring a $7 "co payment" from the patient's pocket for all GP visits. This was howled down in the Senate and Abbott cut the medicare rebate by $5 instead.
  70. Also in the May 2014 budget was a plan to change the indexing of hospital funding resulting in a saving of up to $50 billion over 10 years. The old arrangement projected an exponential funding rise while the new one a far more modest linear one. These are not cuts per se but in real terms, in the future, they will be, as costs increase and funds don't keep pace.
  71. "Therapeutic cloning" involves using a non-fertilised egg (human or animal) as an incubator to grow human DNA. After a set number of divisions of the embryo it can be broken up and the stem cells harvested for therapeutic use. "So-called therapeutic cloning is basically translating 'Dolly the Sheep' type situations to human beings and I think that we should think long and hard before going down that path," Mr Abbott told the National Press Club on 2 August 2006. This after the Lockhart Review into existing stem-cell research laws, which called for therapeutic cloning to be allowed in Australia. The practice is legal in the US and also the UK.
  72. Australian had a thriving car industry back in the 1970s. We had Ford, Holden, Toyota, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Chrysler and British Leyland all performing large scale manufacturing in cities around Australia. In many cases the cars were designed here too. Gradually these companies removed their factories to other countries, but we still had Ford, Holden and Toyota until just before the 2013 election when Ford announced they would pull out. Losing one leg of the tripod was always going to make it hard for the other 2 and after Abbott took power they announced they would pull out also. Large subsidies from the government had kept the industry going for many years but appetite for it was dying and in Abbott's case it didn't exist at all. He provided no encouragement to Holden and Toyota whatsoever! How can you just sit by and lose lifetimes of culture just like that? Holden vs Ford? The end of Bathurst as we knew it. All those jobs. Just gone!
  73. 12 March 2014, The Abbott government quietly reopened a 457 visa loophole to allow employers to hire an unlimited number of workers without scrutiny.
  74. The Fringe Benefits Tax had allowed a great industry in tax breaks for salary sacrificed cars. All kinds of vehicles was sold under this scheme both locally made and imported. The Rudd government cracked down on it before the 2013 election projecting a $1.8 billion windfall, but Abbott repudiated this even though he desperately needed more revenue as too many of those affected were his voters.
  75. 13 May 2014, The Hockey Budget scrapped a range of grant programs aimed at funding innovation and start-up businesses, including: Australian Industry Participation; Commercialisation Australia; Enterprise Solutions; Innovation Investment Fund; Industry Innovation Councils; Enterprise Connect; Industry Innovation Precincts; and Textile, Clothing and Footwear Small Business and Building Innovative Capability.
  76. 13 May 2014, Hockey's first budget announced the sacking of 16,500 public sector workers as whole Departments were abolished.
  77. 4 February 2014, The Abbott government supported a reduction of penalty rates and other Award minimums in a submission to the Fair Work Commission's review of all Awards.
  78. March 13 2012, Abbott savaged industry super funds worth $250 billion for creating a "gravy train" for union officials who sit on their boards. Possibly because he wanted to prevent the Union movement finding another source of funds.
    27 June 2015, Draft legislation put forward by Assistant Treasurer Josh Frydenberg proposes at least one third of superannuation fund board directors be independent. The plans are being seen as an attack on union-backed industry funds, which mainly have joint employer and union representation on their boards. This despite the fact that Industry Super Funds have been outperforming Retail Super Funds.
  79. 13 May 2014 Hockey's first budget cut $120 million from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission over 5 years. This means less scrutiny of dodgy business practices and more illegal activity benefiting the big end of town. Just what the Liberals like.
  80. June 9 2015, Joe Hockey told wannabe homeowners who couldn't afford the ridiculous house prices in capital cities to "get a good job that pays good money".
  81. August 13 2014, Joe Hockey on radio said that "the poorest people either don't have cars, or actually don't drive very far.". Once again again he demonstrated his rich man's arrogance and lack of sympathy for the poor.
  82. In June 2015 it was revealed that Joe Hockey had charged the taxpayer $184,000 in "travel allowance" to stay in his wife's house in Canberra during parliamentary sittings since 1998. This is more than half the original purchase price. Apparently this is all within the rules... What a farce!
  83. 22 December 2014 - The Abbott government defunded peak organisations who advocate for the poor and oppressed including Homelessness Australia, Financial Counselling Australia and National Shelter.
  84. In Hockey's first budget he announced that the pension age would increase to 70 from 2035.
  85. In Hockey's famous budget he introduced a measure to make all unemployed under 30 wait 6 months before they can receive the dole. In addition to the six-month waiting period, the eligibility age for Newstart will rise from 22 to 25 years.
    Once the six-month waiting period is over, the unemployed youngster will have to do at least 25 hours a week in Work for the Dole activities for another six months, before either getting a job or going back through the whole cycle again, meaning another six months of no government money whatsoever. BARBARIC!!
    The Senate defeated this plan and in 2015 the Abbott government reverted to a one month wait.
  86. 26 February 2014, Introduces legislation to allow people aged between 17-24 years old to work for half the minimum wage and be exempted from all other work rights including health and safety laws and protections should they be injured at work. This was for Abbott's "Green Army" a continuation of Howard's "Green Corps".
  87. In the 2014 Budget.
  88. Also in the 2014 Budget.
  89. Also in the 2014 budget: Schools will lose the option of appointing secular social workers under the national school chaplaincy program, for which the Abbott government had found an extra $245m in budget funding.
  90. In April 2010, David Gonski was commissioned by Julia Gillard, then Minister for Education in the Rudd Government, to be chairman of a committee to make recommendations regarding funding of education in Australia. The reforms were expensive but Gillard moved higher education funds into secondary to make them possible. The 2014 Budget stripped $30 billion in future funding for education, and the Gonski report was removed from the Government's website.
  91. In 2008 he spent three weeks as a teacher's aide in Coen in Cape York. In 2009, he spent 10 days as a truancy officer in Aurukun on Cape York. In 2010 he spent a few days around Alice Springs. In 2011 he visited Santa Teresa near Alice Springs and Hopevale in Cape York. In 2012 he spent 4 days four days helping refurbish a school library at Aurukun. In 2013 ?. In 2014 he spent 3 days in Nhulunbuy in Arnhem Land. In 2015 he spent a week in Torres Strait Islands.
  92. The Congress of Australia’s First Peoples, the only elected representative body for Indigenous Australians was abolished in Hockey's first budget.
  93. In December 2014, Abbott vowed to "sweat blood" to see recognition of Indigenous peoples incorporated in the federal constitution, envisaging that the necessary national referendum might be held on the 50th anniversary of the 1967 referendum. In 2015 he initiated a series of discussions with various parties but was unable to get close to any actual wording.
  94. The 2014 Budget saw him break his promise of "no cuts to the ABC or SBS" by cutting $43.5 million from the ABC and SBS. This resulted in job cuts and the axing of programs including state based 7:30 Reports.
  95. 2 July, 2014, He appointed Janet Albrechtsen, a former Liberal MP, conservative columnist and vocal opponent of the ABC to the ABC and SBS appointments panel. The four-person nomination panel, presents a shortlist of recommendations to the government when vacant ABC and SBS board positions arise. Dr Albrechtsen, a columnist for The Australian and former lawyer, had previously derided the ABC as a "Soviet-style workers collective". In November 2013, Dr Albrechtsen called for ABC managing director Mark Scott to resign for airing stories based on documents provided by whistle blower Edward Snowden about Australian intelligence operations in Indonesia.
    Abbott appointed former deputy Liberal Party leader Neil Brown to the panel as well, thereby ensuring a Coalition compliant ABC board in the future.
  96. 13 May 2014 Abbott gutted the Australia Council and Screen Australia by cutting $87 million from the Arts.
  97. The Australia Network was Australia’s international television service broadcast across East Asia that provided news and current affairs from an Australian perspective. It was scrapped in the 2014 budget.
  98. I guess most people were stunned when a man like Abbott announced himself as the Minister For Women. Seems farcical now I guess but it demonstrates the extent of his arrogance.
  99. Tony was caught winking mid-interview to an ABC radio host when a phone sex hotline worker called in with her comments on the Budget. Arrogance, condescension, not a good look.
  100. Julie Bishop, Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
  101. July 2009, Abbott's proposed a marriage plan where heterosexual couples can sign up to a fault-based model, like the former Matrimonial Causes Act. The act, dropped in 1975, required aggrieved spouses to prove offences like adultery, habitual drunkenness or cruelty to be granted a divorce.
  102. The Abbott Government's $110 million cut in the 2014 budget, saw staff levels reduced by more than 20 per cent. CSIRO chairman and former Australian of the year Simon McKeon has conceded the cuts have led to reduced staffing in virtually every part of the organisation. "The reality is that over the last couple of years, not just one year, we've had to, I would argue, cut into the bone," he said.
  103. August 5 2014, Abbott backed out of modifying section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act. This was an election promise borne out of the case where columnist and Abbott confidante Andrew Bolt was taken to court by an Aboriginal group regarding 2 articles he wrote in 2009. Federal Court Justice Mordecai Bromberg found Bolt had breached the act because the articles were not written in good faith and contained factual errors. This was seen by Bolt, Abbott and many others as an attack on free speech. He had intended to remove the words "offend" and "insult" from the act.
  104. Under pressure from Andrew Wilkie the Gillard government introduced reforms to poker machine technology. These reforms included a requirement that machines be equipped with pre-commitment technology, which could in the future be used to require players to set the amount of money they are prepared to lose before playing. On 4 December 2013 the Abbott government repealed this legislation and was backed by the ALP.
    Other measures to go included requiring electronic warnings to be displayed on machines, the creation of a national gambling regulator and a $250-a-day cap on automatic teller machine withdrawals in gaming venues.Independent Senator Nick Xenophon condemned both major parties. "You can't trust the states. It is a case of the states being Dracula in charge of the blood bank" he said.
  105. In October, 2014, burqa and niqab wearers were banned from sitting in the public gallery but would be required instead to sit in a glassed off enclosure, for security reasons. Ie security could not see their face so they could not be identified. A week later this ban was overturned and they were allowed to sit anywhere but they were required to show their face to security before entry.
    Senator Jacqui Lambie labelled the backdown on the burqa ban a morale booster for Islamic extremists. "The decision today to allow burqas and other forms of identity concealing items of dress to be worn in Australia's Parliament will put a smile on the face of the overseas Islamic extremists and their supporters in Australia," she said.
  106. The backlash against him caused routs to Liberal governments in Vic in 2014 and Queensland in 2015. This worried the Liberal Party Executive as they saw themselves losing the next Federal election.
  107. On 14 September 2015, Malcolm Turnbull, the Minister for Communications, resigned and stated his intention to challenge the Liberal Party leadership in a leadership spill that night.
  108. Turnbull stated that Abbott "was not capable of providing the economic leadership we need".
  109. Turnbull also stated that the Liberal Party needs a "style of leadership that respects the people's intelligence".
  110. A party-room meeting held that evening saw Abbott defeated by Turnbull on a 54-44 vote.
  111. 12 August 2013, "No one," Tony Abbott told a Melbourne gathering of Liberal Party faithful, "however smart, however well-educated, however experienced … is the suppository [sic] of all wisdom."